Issue of April 12, 2015
Mt. Province

Baguio Day Anniversary Issue
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If not now, when?

With still fresh memories of the yearend mayhem partly attributed to what used to be a plain sitio made interesting by an ongoing TV series, the ongoing implementation of 68 road repair and maintenance projects in Baguio City, 16 of which done in the central business district, is again testing the patience of majority of the city’s constituents. While infrastructure works of this sort are no longer new here and in most parts of the country, many still find it taxing for a bustling city, so the public can’t help but protest at the first sound of drilling and excavation activities within the premises.

The grumbles are nothing unexpected. As we usually do, local drivers, residents, tourists, and visitors decry the diggings for delaying trips to work, appointments, classes, and spoiling our vacations. Everyone could readily come up with a list of losses for having caught in the traffic. We complain for the inconvenience. We fear for having closed hospital routes in cases of emergency. We hate wasted time being stuck. It would be typical for us to consider every road repair ill-timed, half-baked, or just an excuse to dispose of a budget while it’s available.

Being the “boss” as PNoy says, we feel justified giving someone a dressing down, so it is very easy and seemed proper to blame the agency responsible for our misery, in this case the Department of Public Works and Highways, for programming the road works, with the Baguio City District Engineering Office at the helm of its implementation.

We consider the situation as a case of the Public Works office showing that there’s a way if there’s a will. While it is asserted Baguio City cannot afford to undergo widening due to limited space, it can however be improved. Thus, we have been waking up for nearly a month now, not to wider streets and roads, but to terrible traffic along passages authorities deem in need of repair and those the public deem still in good condition, until its completion by the third quarter of the year.

Except for that part where good roads are destroyed and poorly remade, so there’s something to repair again soon,  we suggest letting the DPWH do its job, albeit with vigilance on transgressions from what ought to be done, and yes, extending more patience and understanding. Because if not now, when do we think is the best time to do road repairs? Will it be when most classes begin in August, later when typhoons come and everywhere floods, during big city events in September, in November when we visit our departed ones, in December when we are in a forgiving mood, or during Panagbenga Festival – back to when we asked for postponement of road works?   

No one should begrudge improvement, not with a valid reason. If done properly, competently, and with the best intentions, only the thankless lot would not appreciate sacrifices that bear beneficial results.

We assume the DPWH is no stranger to the meaning of public service and trust. It should not surprise them when public is more than willing to take long, difficult roads with their government, if it doesn’t shortchange them and the intention does them good in the end.

Drill away and repair our roads, just bring it back to us in worthwhile condition and on time.



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